Every hunter should have a bucket list, but if you haven’t made yours yet, here are 10 hunts to go on before you die.
It’s hard to make the time to hunt. Between work obligations and tending to family life, making time to get out there in the great wide open and get your hunt on can be difficult. Having a hunting bucket list, however, can take one of the hardest steps in planning a trip out of the equation: actually deciding on where to go and what to hunt.
When plans aren’t set in stone, it’s hard to stick to them. With these 10 hunts to go on before you die, you’ll know which one to take on the next time you have that perfect hunting window in sight.
1. Osceola Turkeys – Florida
With turkey season opening by mid-April in most states, instead of sticking around your own backyard, take a trip to Florida to get your shotgun on the incredible Osceola turkey. The season opens on different days in individual areas of the state, but once you feel the accomplishment of nailing one of the most difficult game birds to take, you’ll want to make this trip a yearly hunt.
2. Elk – Montana
Skinning a whitetail is one thing, but cleaning an elk is a whole other ballgame. The thrill of taking an elk in Montana won’t only excite your hunter instinct, but taking in the incredible views from Montana vistas will satisfy your need for the wilderness. Plan to camp out and hike for elk, you’ll need a few days to set your sights on one incredible beast. Also, jalapeño elk jerky anyone?
3. Hogs – Texas
Do your hunter part and give back to the ecosystem by taking one or five of these invasive pests that are ruining crops all over Texas. While feral hogs aren’t the most dainty animal to take, the big brutes can put up quite a fight. This is your ticket for an adrenaline-pumping fight and will open your eyes to the variety of ways that hunters are acting conservationists, too.
4. Moose – Alaska
If you’ve been trying to beat your buddy’s mount for years, then this is the hunt for you. Alaskan moose have some of the heaviest antlers in the world that grow up to six feet across. Hop on an airplane, hire a guide, and stalk a moose deep into the Alaskan wilderness for a hunt that you grew up reading about in Jack London’s books.
5. Coyotes – Colorado
Take pest control one step further and head into the Rocky Mountains for some prime coyote hunting. Taking a coyote isn’t as simple as it would seem, however. Native American tribes considered coyotes to be some of the smartest animals roaming the wild so you’ll need to bring your hunting game with you for this.
6. Quail Trifecta – Arizona
A trip to Arizona for quail hunting means completing a mini quail-slam if you bag the three most popular species there. The Gambel’s, scaled, and Mearns’ quails are the ones you’ll be on the lookout for and it’s not as ridiculous to bag them as you might think. With the abundance of public land in Arizona, you’ll be able to find the perfect spot to work on your mini-slam.
7. Mountain Goat – British Columbia, Canada
Head into the Canadian backcountry to get on these beautiful mountain goats, but don’t forget to hire a guide to take you out, first. Most outfitter companies will have land that they own privately for hunting, so already your odds are increased for locking into one amazing hunt.
8. Cape Buffalo – South Africa
Yes, you’ll be hunting Cape buffalo, which alone is an incredible story to tell your buddies, but being in a new place entirely will open your eyes to the different ecosystems that are all over the world. You might take home a Cape buffalo, but you also will definitely leave with a new perspective on the wide, wide world of the animal kingdom.
9. Red Stag – Argentina
Follow your heart down to Patagonia in Argentina to feast your eyes and sights on the largest population of free range red stags in the world. The best part? In the lull of hunting seasons in the winter here in the United States, it’ll be shining, warm summer in South America.
10. Himalayan Tahr – New Zealand
A relative of the wild goat, the Himalayan Tahr is one of three tahr species in the world. Taking a tahr in beautiful New Zealand should be on your bucket list because well, it’s New Zealand. The quiet solitude of the backcountry hike to get to the tahr alone will put you in a better place.
Where will your dream hunt take you? This is just a suggested list, you’ve surely got more on your own. What hunt do you hope to experience before you die?